Whether you think you can or think you can't - you're right ~ Henry Ford
I think I must have a bit of a stubborn streak.
Whenever someone tells me, no no you couldn't possibly do that, it just seems to make me want to do it more.
So when everyone was telling me I couldn't possibly bake my own wedding cake, by golly it just strengthened my resolve to do just that.
Sure I've only ever used fondant once before, sure I've never made a multi-tier cake before, and sure I'm living in a different town and am only flying back 2 days before the wedding...she'll be right, mate I said.
Now with only 11 days to go till The Big Day, the stress levels are getting up there and whether baking my own wedding cake was the wisest decision in the world is yet to be seen. So, my lovelies, here is a little sneak peek of my wedding cake in all its bumpy 1.5 kg worth of chocolate glory. Wish me luck!
The plan was to make the cake in 2 parts:
Part 1: Bake the chocolate fruit cake, cover in ganache, freeze.
Part 2: Shore up 2nd tier with skewers, cover cakes in fondant, decorate with silk flowers.
Part one was completed in my recent trip back to Auckland for Easter and Part Deux will happen when I fly back up for the wedding. Two days before the wedding. Breathe, Nessie, breathe.
Baking the actual cake was, well, a piece of cake. The cake is Nigella's Chocolate Fruit Cake which I made for Christmas. It's super simple, basically everything in the saucepan then bake. I added a slosh more OJ and some more brandy coz I left it to bubble for just a little too long. Not eating all the mixture was the first big challenge - it's fruity, chocolatey and citrusy with a brandy kick. To die for.
Now the Mt Everst of part one was getting the ganache smooth. I struggled with this last time and I struggled again this time. I had watched countless youtube videos, read a million blog posts and it looked like it would be easy.
Easy it was definitely not.
One of the videos I watched used a L-shaped ruler to make the top level, I didn't have one so substituted our ages old chinese meat cleaver. Unconventional yes, but it worked a treat. I heated it up with hot water and used copious amounts of the dark chocolate ganache (1kg worth of dark chocolate for a 30 cm and 21 cm cake) but try as I might I just couldn't get the ganache to look smooth.
So I changed tack and made some white chocolate ganache to see if that would work better. It turned out way better than my attempt in dark chocolate and streets ahead of what I made at Christmas but I just couldn't get it to get that marble like smoothness I've seen them do in the youtube videos. Even with a whopping 1.5 kg of chocolate coating these cakes, there are still little ridges and bumps. What am I doing wrong??
These bad boys are now resting in the freezer back up in Auckland awaiting The Fondant Layer. I capitalise to emphasise the gravity and scariness of the process of putting the fondant on the cake. Fondant has not been my friend so any tips you might have would be so so appreciated!
I'll post the full recipe with Part 2...so watch this space.
11 days and counting!!!